Thursday, September 30, 2010

Choo Choo’s Cafe

Choo Choo’s Cafe is the Cafe serving the interstate rail terminal at Keswick. It is busy when there are trains arriving and departing but probably not much business at other times of the day. Merkel and Mytyle were there to head for Alice Spring on The Ghan train service. There is plenty of seating inside and a range of fast foods and drinks.

The hot chocolate came in a fancy glass with a creamy froth and a line of chocolate powder on top. It came with two especially tasty pink marshmallows. The chocolate flavour was good and chocolaty and not too sweet. The cost was $3.50.

Fasta Pasta, Iced

Merkel returned to Fast Pasta recently for good value family meal of pasta. This is one of the few places you can get a hot chocolate for $2.80 in Adelaide. This time though he tried the Iced Chocolate. The drink came in a tall glass. The syrup pattern was evident through the walls of the glass. It was topped with a large scoop of chocolate gelati, whipped cream and sprinkle of chocolate powder. This was a good standard iced chocolate although the chocolate syrup used was a bit sweet for Merkel's taste. The cost was $4.50.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Redundant Umbrellas

Your reviewer has observed a number of Cafes in Adelaide that have redundant umbrellas. A redundant umbrella is an umbrella that serves no purpose except perhaps for advertising. A redundant umbrella stops no rain and it stops no direct sunlight. One of the first examples of this noted by your reviewer was in the Adelaide railway station. The Jaspers Cafe and Shunters have umbreallas set up in the main grand auditorium of the station. Another good example of redundant umbrellas is the Adelaide Central Market Plaza. This is completely enclosed has a number of dining areas that have been reviewed in this blog. In particular the Charlie’s Coffee Lounge and the Lamb Spit BBQ proudly erect umbrellas in places that none of the outside weather can reach.

To document this phenomenon your reviewer took his camera, normally used for the purpose of photographing hot chocolates, and snapped a few examples. Here we have the Cumberland Arms Hotel with its “James Squire” umbrellas under its veranda and the Strata Bar with its “Pure Blonde” umbrellas in its veranda.

The next photo shows the umbrellas outside of Pondok Bali. It could be argued the two umbrellas at its entrance are ornamental umbrellas rather than redundant umbrellas, but that seems to be splitting hairs.

The next photo is the very grand auditorium of Naylor House on Pulteney Street. Several floors up in this auditorium has a roof which covers the whole area. On the ground in the auditorium is So Fresh Cafe which has four “Brazilia” umbrellas. Do not be fooled by the trees. This Cafe is completely internal.

T&K Deli and Takeaway

This shop at 572 Anzac Highway is a bit of everything but not very much of a hot chocolate venue. On one window it proclaims it is a Deli and Takeaway and on the other window it proclaims it is a Bakery and Patisserie. The espresso machine was not working but the lady behind the counter still insisted on making a hot chocolate. It came in a small glass. No froth but an attempt to sprinkle some chocolate powder on top had been made. It was sweet, weak and watery. It probably cost about three dollars but whatever the cost it was not worth it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Halifax Café

Halifax Café is a quiet café at 187 Halifax Street not far from Hutt Street. It has a short menu of specialty lunches and can do a sandwich or roll. There is plenty of seating inside and outside. There was plenty of artwork by local artist Greg Longford adorning the walls when Merkel visited. It looks like the Halifax Café missed the main SALA 2010 programme but was part of the 2010 SALA on Hutt spinoff. The Greg Longford exhibition was part of this. His works are mostly oils and he shows he is the master of a number styles and techniques in this exhibition which is named "Figuratively Speaking".

The hot chocolate was $3.50 and came in a big white ceramic cup. It had a bubbly froth and sprinkle of cocoa which soon dissipated. The hot chocolate was too sweet and not particularly tasty.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Coffee Branch

Your reviewer went to a Coffee Branch stall some time ago and found it a good place to get a hot chocolate in the Garden of Unearthly delights during the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Little he suspect there was a permanent establishment of the Coffee Branch in at 32 Leigh St Adelaide. This is a fairly unimposing presence in the beautiful little Leigh Street. There is not much room inside, just handful of standard tables and some bar seating. Your reviewer found himself sitting on one of the two outside table in the sunshine. There were no umbrellas but in the fine weather this was not a shortcoming. A small selection of fancy sandwiches is available.

The hot chocolate came in a black ceramic cup with a creamy froth and a perfectly executed barista pattern on the top. The drink was rich and creamy and very pleasant. It cost $3.50.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chesser Café/Cellar/Bottle Shop

The Chesser Cellars is a complex of different dining rooms on different levels of an old building under the creeping vines at 29 Chesser Street, Adelaide. The dedication of this cafe to wine is clear. Various bottles adorn the walls amongst a decorative line of old corks. The café menu is short and exotic. Good deals are available for patrons who like a glass of wine with their meal.

The hot chocolate is $4.20 and comes in a big mug with a white and a pink marshmallow. It is finished with a bubbly froth with a line of chocolate powder across the middle. This was a chocolaty and comforting hot chocolate.
Chesser Cellar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Joy Discovery Vegetarian Café

If readers want to got to somewhere with calming music and words of wisdom from guru Sri Chimnoy then the Joy Discovery Vegetarian Café in Bent Street, Adelaide may be for you. You will be waited on by ladies dressed in Saris. For those who still want their connection with the rat race it is an internet hot spot. The meals are fairly expensive for meals without meat, but tasty.

The hot chocolate cost $4.50 and for a change it is listed under "Tea" in the menu rather than "Coffee". It came in a Large Ceramic Cup and was finished with a creamy froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink had a surprisingly good chocolate flavour and was not too sweet.
Joy Discovery on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tempo Café

The venue of the Tempo Café is in the foyer of the Grainger Studio, the home of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. It used to be the old Wests Cinema, one of the earliest Adelaide cinemas and later become Sinatra's night club. This is a table service restaurant. One of its features is a bar made of resin with real musical instruments embedded in it, such as a keyboard, trumpet and violin. The Cafe is an interesting variation on Café Foyerism as the eating area Café takes up a large amount of the foyer space. Café Tempo is also an internet hot spot and has outdoor seating available.

The hot chocolate was $3.40 or $4.40 for a mug. The cup was a Vittoria glass with wire handle. It was finished with a creamy froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink was a milk chocolate flavour.
Cafe Tempo on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 20, 2010

Falafel House

The Falafel House at 102 Hindley Street does a good eat-in and takeaway trade in Lebanese specialties like Falafel, Yiros and Kebabs.

The hot chocolate is $3.20 and comes with in glass topped with a white froth. This hot chocolate was creamy with a good richness. Like with Hudsons, stirring your hot chocolate with a plastic spoon detracts from a good hot chocolate experience.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Duthy's Bakehouse

Duthy's Bakehouse at 84 Duthy Street, Malvern is in the same set of shops have Doof Doof reviewed earlier. It is retail bakery selling a good range of cakes, pies and quiches but also has some counters and stools for the eat-in customer. There are also a couple of tables outside.

The hot chocolate seemed to take and age to make and came in a white ceramic mug. It was topped with a white froth and sprinkle of chocolate. The drink was not sufficiently creamy or chocolaty. The final bill was very reasonable though. The take away costs for beverages were $3.20 but the coffee and hot chocolates to eat in were on special for only two dollars.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Palais Caffe Bar

The Palais ballroom at 281 North Terrace, Adelaide opened in 1920 as "Palais de Danse". The ballroom was demolished in 1967 and became a car park. This car park has recently been replaced by offices and shops one of which is the Palais Caffe Bar. This is a big licensed Café with plenty of seating inside and outside.

The hot chocolate is only three dollars and comes in a small decorative ceramic cup. The hot chocolate is topped with a creamy froth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink was rich and creamy but there just was not enough of it in the tiny cup.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tea House and Coffee for Others

This was one of Merkel and Myrtle's more peculiar dining experiences. This quaintly named tea house is at 255 Waymouth Street opposite Waymouth Café. The pair were the only patrons for lunch and an oriental lady met and ushered them to their table. The small Café had and array of brick-a-brack for sale, and odd combinations of decoration. There was a large range of tea for sale. While there was a reasonably long menu of Asian meals the couple were directed to the meals their hostess wished to cook. The fried tofu "vegetarian chicken" and fish was unfamiliar to Merkel and Myrtle but they suffered no ill-effects from consuming it.

The hot chocolate cost $3.20 and came in a surprisingly elegant tall glass with a handle. The drink was finished with a creamy froth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. The milk chocolate flavour could have been richer but was quite passable.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Deli on Pulteney

The Deli on Pulteney is a table services restaurant at 62 Pulteney Street at the Northern end of Hindmarsh Square. It is a few doors around the square from De Luca's on the Park. There are only six tables inside, but plenty of table outside in a covered veranda with a good view of the square. This is also an internet hotspot.

The hot chocolate came in a white ceramic mug and cost $3.80. It was topped with a white froth and sprinkling of chocolate powder. The drink was a milk chocolate flavour but could have been richer for your reviewer's taste.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cocolat, Rundle Street

Merkel and Myrtle went to a film with friends at the Palace Cinema on Rundle Street and then slipped over the road to Cocolat for a hot chocolate and a sweet treat.

The film was "The Disappearance of Alice Creed". It was well written and harrowing in places as it depicted the detail of a kidnapping. It turned out to have more twists than a yo-yo string. There were only three actors in the film and they all put in great performances.

Merkel settled for the standard hot chocolate this time. It came in a tall glass with handle and topped with creamy froth and flakes of chocolate. It included a pink marshmallow. The hot chocolate was a good Belgian flavour and cost $4.50. With the drink Merkel purchased a Bailey's Embrace which was a delicious chocolate cake with Irish cream flavour.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ambassadors Hotel

The Ambassadors is one of the oldest Hotels in Adelaide and still exudes old world charm. The first floor dining room opens out on to an enclosed balcony which overlooks King William Street. The dining room offers a good range of meals at reasonable prices.

The hot chocolate is only three dollars and comes in a glass and finished with a mixture of white and brown froth. The chocolate flavour was light and milky. It was not too sweet and not particularly rich.
Ambassadors Hotel on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wicked Coffee at the Football

It was the cricket season when Merkel last sample the wares of the Wicked Coffee van. This time it was footy season and Edwardstown Football Oval was hosting the Metro South football grand finals. The hot chocolate was $3.30 and was well decorated with a liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder covering most of the froth. It was chocolaty but not particularly creamy. Still it was a luxury to have a hot chocolate while watching some good football matches.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Enjoy Café Bakery, All Hours

This is one of only two Adelaide venues that your reviewer knows that you can get a hot chocolate any hour of the day, any day of the week. The other is The Pancake Kitchen. Enjoy Café Bakery at 112 The Parade, Norwood offers a big range of bakery items including the famous Adelaide pie floater around the clock. It provides modern comfortable surroundings and friendly service.

The hot chocolate is only three dollars and comes in a big glass with a handle and a marshmallow. It has plenty of white froth and a liberal sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink is a good chocolaty flavour and will satisfy at any hour of the day.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

East Terrace Continental

This café at 6 East Terrace, uses the memorable abbreviation of ETC. It is also an internet hot spot and was SALA 2010 venue. ETC sells a good range of meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner in an informal setting. The SALA exhibitors were no longer on display but some appealing artwork was hanging on the walls.

The hot chocolate came in a ceramic cup with a white froth and a liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder. The drink was a good dark chocolate flavour and not too sweet. The cost was $3.20. As Merkel left the venue he noticed a blackboard saying that the beverage of the month was mint flavour Italian hot chocolate. He may return.
East Terrace Continental on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 10, 2010

De Luca's on the Park

This coffee shop is at 24 Hindmarsh Square on the ground floor of the huge new Crowne Plaza Hotel. It provides light lunches and a good coffee menu. There is about a dozen tables inside and a couple outside. It is also an internet hot spot.

The chocolate comes in the $3.90, $4.40 and $4.90 prices. For $3.90 I received the hot chocolate in a glass with a white froth and a liberal sprinkling chocolate powder on top. The chocolate powder covered the top of the drink except for a little heart shape which appeared white from the froth below. Another neat touch was that the chocolate mixture had been applied to the glass before the milk had been added so that the lower part of the glass appeared dark and the upper part appeared light. This was a technique that had been used at Mary Martin's. The problem with this was that it had to be stirred to get a rich chocolate flavour and this destroyed the presentation. It was worth the stir though because the flavour was good.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Red Fox Café

At 227 Currie Street almost at the corner of West Terrace is the Red Fox Café. It is fairly easy to spot with its bright red signs. It does a good menu of light lunches. The service is quick and friendly.

The hot chocolate was only three dollars and came in a white ceramic mug in a white saucer. It was finished with a creamy white froth and liberal sprinkling of chocolate powder. The chocolate flavour was rich but unfortunately far too sweet for your reviewer's taste.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another Hudsons, Another Flavour

Merkel visited another Hudsons outlet on the corner of King William Street and Hindley Street recently. There is a variety of seating available and an interesting corridor going nowhere with a mirror at the end at the back of the shop. Merkel ordered the hot chocolate with a shot of cinnamon. This was $3.80 for the mug plus 60 cents for the cinnamon. The chocolate did not taste quite as rich as at other Hudsons but the combination was still tasty.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Lunch Room

This venue at 132 Grenfell Street does a roaring lunchtime trade. It has plenty of seating up a few steps behind the serving area and four tables outside. It is an internet hot spot. The venue sells a good range of baguettes and bread rolls.

The coffees and hot chocolate are available for $3.00, $3.50 and $4.50. The $3.00 hot chocolate came in a ceramic cup with the Veneziano brand in outside drinker-facing orientation. The Veneziano motto "True to the Bean" appears inside the cup facing the drinker. The hot chocolate is topped with fine creamy froth. The drink itself is also creamy and tasty.
Lunchroom Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Office

The Office is a big bar and restaurant at 110 Pirie Street. It is a modern open building with friendly table service. The Office is an Internet Hot Spot, a Fringe Venue and just East of the Flamingo Coffee Lounge.

The hot chocolate cost $3.30 and came in a glass with napkin protecting the fingertips from the heat. Two marshmallows were provided in the saucer. The drink was topped with a white froth and sprinkle of chocolate powder. The drink was a light Swiss milk chocolate style.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Atlas Corner, Adelaide Central Market

Saturday morning at the Adelaide Central Market is a busy time. The smells, bustle and little stalls create an upbeat start to the weekend. Merkel and Myrtle visited the Atlas Corner stall for breakfast. They sell continental goods and are not really geared up as a Café. Merkel had one of their gourmet roles (unfortunately stale) while Mytle had the bacon and eggs from Zuma's Caffe.
The special advertising a mug of chocolate with marshmallows for four dollars caught Merkel's eye. It came in a large square ceramic mug advertising Picco coffee in the outside viewer-facing orientation. The hot chocolate was good and rich and came with a bubbly froth and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. Unfortunately a dispute over marshmallows exacerbated by language difficulties put a dampener on the experience.

The special promised marshmallows so when it was delivered without, Merkel approached the counter and was provided a single marshmallow. The waiter then pursued Merkel to his table and grafted an additional 30 cents claiming Merkel had only been charged $3.70 for the original hot chocolate. The money was provided so that Merkel could return to enjoying his drink even though the special had offered marshmallows plural which never eventuated.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Duthy Thai

Duthy Thai is one of Adelaide's finest and longer established Thai restaurants. It is a few doors North of the Duthy Street Deli at 19 Duthy Street, Malvern. The Marmadukes were there at a family occasion on a busy Friday night.

Oriental cuisine establishments are not noted for their coffee and chocolate beverages. Hot chocolate was not on the menu so with some trepidation your reviewer asked for a hot chocolate. The drink came as a Vienna chocolate in a tall glass with a handle. It was topped with a coconut flavoured whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa. This topping would have gone very well with rich dark chocolate drink. Unfortunately the chocolate flavour was insipid and did not do justice to the presentation and topping. The hot chocolate cost four dollars.
Duthy Thai on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 3, 2010

More Hudsons

Wakefield Hospital, Choc Duo
The hot chocolate at Hudsons at Ashford Hospital was so good that Merkel went to Hudsons at Wakefield Hospital to have another taste. It seems inconceivable a few years ago that he would go to a hospital cafeteria out of choice but such is the improvement of commercial vendors in hospitals these days. The Wakefield foyer at 270 Wakefield Street is not as impressive as Ashford but the same Hudsons offering was available.

The Belgian hot chocolate was on offer but this time Merkel felt he should try the Choc Duo of the benefit of his readers. This was listed as a mix of dark chocolate and white chocolate. Alas, this diluted the true Belgian flavour of the hot chocolate and while it was pleasant it was not a drink Merkel would rave over. The drink came in the same mug and finish as the Ashford hot chocolate and cost a little extra at $3.60 for the cup or $4.30 for the mug. Merkel was left to ponder the age old question "If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet?".

Currie Street, Irish Cream
Merkel also visited the Hudsons outlet at 41 Currie Street in the city. It is a small place doing a big takeaway trade. It has six or so tables inside and bar with stools. It also has a couple of tables outside.

Not put off from experimenting for the benefit of his readers, Merkel ordered the hot chocolate with a shot of Irish Cream. This was $3.80 for the mug plus 60 cents for the Irish Cream. It is a good combination that Merkel has had elsewhere and the flavour did not overpower the Belgian chocolate taste.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Cumberland Arms Hotel

This old city pub is nicely appointed inside and still retains some of its old world charm. The Cumberland Arms has a number of dining areas and a good menu very similar to the Seven Stars which is not surprising as it is managed by the same group. The rooms were big and had mirrors on the walls which added to the impression of space. A couple of artworks hang on the walls which had previously hung on the walls of The Gallery on Waymouth.

The hot chocolate was only three dollars and came in a glass with a wire handle. It had a white froth on top but the taste was not quite right. Like the Banana Leaf it tasted like the milk was off.
Cumberland Arms Hotel on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Return to the Wakefield Hotel

The rain came pouring down one day when Merkel and Myrtle were looking for a new venue to enjoy lunch. At the time they were outside the Wakefield Hotel so it seemed sensible to go inside to this familiar venue rather than brave further rain. It was quite cosy with an open fire and plenty of seating toward the back of the hotel. There was a good selection of meals on the menu.

The hot chocolate came in a Lavazza coffee cup with outer drinker-facing advertising and cost $3.50. There was a heap of froth on top and a dash of chocolate powder. The drink was frothy but rich enough.